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Bar Bliss: Top Cocktail Bars in Auckland

Bar Bliss Top Cocktail Bars in Auckland

As night falls, a whole new face of Auckland comes to light as its bars start to fill up with people looking for a great way to unwind after a long day of work.

However, not all bars are created equal. Some of them, known as cocktail bars, offer crafted elixirs and secret recipes you’ll be hard-pressed to find somewhere else.

Let’s discuss which cocktail bars in Auckland are the best and why they deserve your attention the next time you need a relaxing drink to end your day.

Bellini Bar


Address: 147 Quay Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 336 1489

Operating hours: 

8:00 AM – 11:00 PM (MON-THURS)

9:00 AM – 11:00 PM (FRI-SUN)

Our first entry, Bellini Bar, is an exquisite cocktail bar located on the ground floor of the Hilton Auckland. Their grand seaside location ensures you’ll have a fun time sipping fine cocktails with a gorgeous view of Auckland Harbour. 

You definitely won’t run out of new things to try out each time you visit here. They’re known for their innovative cocktails like Pink Bellini, The Meg 2.0, and The Blooming.

My personal favourite is their signature Raspberry Gin Basil Smash, as its freshly crushed basil leaves perfectly complement the sweetness of its ripe raspberries. If you prefer non-alcoholic drinks, they have tea and coffee available.

Pro tip:
Looking to make your own cocktail drinks? Sign up here for Bellini Bar’s mixology classes!

The class is led by an expert mixologist who will teach you how to make some of their most popular alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Each class costs $115 per person.

My Bar


Address: 12 Durham Street East, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 309 3830

Operating hours: 

4:00 PM – 12:00 AM (MON)

4:00 PM – 1:00 AM (TUES and WED)

12:00 PM – 1:00 AM (THURS)

12:00 PM – 2:00 AM (FRI)

3:00 PM – 2:00 AM (SAT)

For those looking for after-hours fun, My Bar, located on Durham Street East, is here for you. Designed to be a hangout spot, this bar combines features you’ll find in a contemporary wine bar and a local pub.

Here, you can sit and relax on either their outdoor benches or indoor bar stools. Interestingly, their bar design was based on the intimate “lane bars” you’ll find in Amsterdam and Prague.

Their best-selling cocktail drinks are Rhubarbie Girl, Water Lily, and Rosebud. For the most balanced taste, I suggest you go with Rosebud, as its vanilla vodka base is perfectly complemented by its fruity mix of passionfruit syrup and pineapple juice.

If you want something to go with your drink, they also offer desserts like gateau and tiramisu on their menu.

Pro tip: They have a function room on their second floor where you can host private events like birthday parties and after-work drinking parties. If you’re interested, you can book a reservation here.



Address: Shop 7/183 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 210 383 202

Operating hours: 

4:00 PM – 1:00 AM (TUES-THURS)

4:00 PM – 2:00 AM (FRI and SAT)

2:00 PM – 10:00 PM (SUN)

Tomfoolery, a classy cocktail bar on Karangahape Road, aims to emulate the bars of yesteryear. Here, bartenders actively engage with patrons and are known for their keen ability to remember a customer’s favourite drink.

While their interior isn’t as spacious as the other bars on the list, their more intimate setting really sets the relaxing and calming ambience you’d want while sipping a delicious glass of wine.

Another good thing about Tomfoolery is that they aren’t afraid to try out new cocktail recipes. My personal favourite, Smores, has a sweet and tantalising mix of whisky, White Crème de Cacao, and milk, topped off with a garnish of toasted marshmallow.

Pro tip: Most of their unique cocktail drinks are limited-time only. Make sure to sign up for their newsletter on their website so you can get an update whenever they release a new cocktail drink on the menu!

Little Culprit


Address: Corner of Wyndham &, 151 Queen Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 300 6426

Operating hours: 

3:30 PM – 10:00 PM (WED and THURS)

3:30 PM – 12:00 AM (FRI and SAT)

Little Culprit is the younger brother of the renowned restaurant Culprit. Located on Queen Street, they offer a wide selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks that you can enjoy in their simple yet elegant bar.

Most of their menu consists of innovative drinks like Miso Old Fashioned and Martinezzz. If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, their Coco Coala blends coconut rum, sour cola, and charcoal to give it a slightly sweet and smoky flavour.

They also serve a healthy mix of non-alcoholic beverages, like their Temperance Collins, which is made from soda, grapefruit, and agave. Feeling a bit peckish? They have graze platters and cheese platters available on the menu.

Pro tip: Aside from their signature cocktail drinks, Little Culprit’s mixologists also serve all kinds of classic cocktail drinks. If you don’t see one on their menu, don’t be afraid to ask! 



Address: 40 Customs Street, Britomart Place, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Contact details: [email protected]

Operating hours: 5:00 PM – 3:00 AM (MON-SUN)

Caretaker, located on Customs Street, is a classy cocktail bar inspired by the famous bars in New York. Like its American counterparts, this bar prioritises ambience and features cosy seating, dim lighting, and stylish decor.

Their experienced mixologists aren’t keen on settling for tried-and-tested cocktail recipes only. Their menu features original recipes every week, so customers will always have something new to try each visit.

For the daredevil, they also have some extremely strong cocktail recipes on the menu. One of those is their Blow My Skull alcoholic punch drink, which contains two pints of boiling water, one pint of rum and ale, and a dash of lime juice.

This drink is notoriously potent, so make sure to drink it in moderation!

Pro tip: Do you have a specific cocktail recipe in mind that’s not available on their menu? Don’t be afraid to share it with one of their expert mixologists, as they can accommodate custom cocktail orders!

Parasol and Swing Company


Address: 7/204 Quay Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 366 3948

Operating hours: 

12:00 PM – 1:00 AM (SUN-WED)

12:00 PM – 2:00 AM (THURS)

12:00 PM – 3:00 AM (FRI and SAT)

Parasol and Swing Company is a rooftop cocktail bar located in the famed Viaduct Harbour west of the Auckland CBD. With its stunning views of the harbour, this bar offers a delightful and relaxing drinking experience.

They have both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages on their menu. My recommendation is their Leechee Gee & Tee, as its mix of dry gin, lychee, and yuzu offers a combination of slightly sweet and sour flavours that almost anyone will love.

Aside from beverages, they also have tasty meals available, like burgers, salads, tacos, and sandwiches. They even have cheese platters if you want something that you can share with your drinking buddies.

Pro tip: Because they’re located in Viaduct Harbour, they tend to get fully booked quickly. Make sure to book at least a day in advance on their website, so you and your friends won’t be disappointed!



Address: 10th Floor/63-67 Nelson Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 399 2367

Operating hours: 

4:00 PM – 10:00 PM (WED)

4:00 PM – 11:00 PM (THURS)

4:00 PM – 12:00 AM (FRI and SAT)

2:00 PM – 8:00 PM (SUN)

Another amazing rooftop bar you can check out is Sunset, located on the 10th floor of the Sudima Hotel. Their location gives you a great panoramic view of Ponsonby, Freemans Bay, St Mary’s Bay, Westhaven, and the upper Waitematā Harbour.

Aside from classic cocktails, their mixologists have also concocted their own unique recipes, like Dancing Garden and Hint of Mint. Some of their cocktails, like Mango Paloma, can be ordered without alcohol.

Their bestseller, UB 3, uses a mix of Plantation ‘3 Stars’ Rum, Briottet Crème de Mûre, elderflower, and lime to provide a tantalising taste of a bittersweet drink that has a hint of sourness added to it. See their website to learn more about their menu.

Pro tip: They host DJ and music sessions on select days of every month. You can check this link to see whether you’ll have the chance to watch one of their shows during your visit.



Address: 5 Federal Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 366 6066

Operating hours: 

2:00 PM – 2:00 AM (MON and TUES)

2:00 PM – 3:00 AM (WED and THURS)

2:00 PM – 4:00 AM (FRI)

6:00 PM – 4:00 AM (SAT)

Mo’s is a cosy corner bar located on Federal Street. They have been in business for over 25 years and are well-known as an ideal spot to unwind, enjoy late-night drinks, or celebrate thanks to their long business hours.

They are keen on serving old-fashioned drinkers who want timeless classics like margaritas, and daiquiris. My favourite is their grasshopper cocktail, as its delightfully minty Creme de Menthe perfectly complements its subtle chocolate notes.

All of their drinks are served by their friendly bartenders, who can suggest a cocktail if you aren’t sure which to pick. Unsurprisingly, their cheerful customer service led to them winning awards like Lewisham’s Best Local Award in 2022.

Pro tip:
If you plan on visiting this place during the wee hours, chances are you’ll have a hard time catching a ride back home. 

Thankfully, there are plenty of cheap, decent hotels near Mo’s where you can get a quick rest like Metro Adventurer Backpackers and The Shakespeare Hotel

The Churchill


Address: 396 Queen Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 366 6066

Operating hours: 

4:00 PM – 12:00 AM (TUES-THURS)

4:00 PM – 1:00 AM (FRI and SAT)

The Churchill was established to honour the former UK prime minister, Winston Churchill. They proudly host over 150 different gin styles in their luxurious bar on the 20th floor of the Four Points.

Many of their cocktails are inspired by the former prime minister’s life and story. An example is their Tokyo Bay cocktail, a drink that was inspired by the events that followed when Japan formally surrendered to the Allied powers in World War II.

It uses Rockburn Stolen Kiss Rose, Choya Yuzu Umeshu, rose water, and soda water to create a mix of juicy flavours balanced by the rose water’s delicate essence. The drink symbolises the hopeful and relieved emotions everyone felt after the war.

Aside from cocktails and gins, The Churchill also has plenty of delicious meals offered, like croquettes, oysters, and pork belly.

Pro tip:
You can make your experience here more special by reserving a table for their Chef’s Table experience. This exquisite event, hosted by their master chef, Zeyn Buksh, offers a custom canapé course that’s entirely unique for every table.

To give Zeyn enough time to prepare, they require customers to book at least a week in advance by contacting them via their email, [email protected].